Arson investigator: Guadalupe fire victims ‘uncooperative’

THE Cebu City Fire Office (CCFO) could not yet establish the origin and cause of the fire in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City as nobody from the area would give an exact information about the incident.

At least 40 houses were destroyed and 10 were damaged by the fire that broke out in Sitio Sambag 4, Barangay Guadalupe on Thursday afternoon, January 19, 2023, displacing 60 families and 180 individuals.

The fire damage was pegged at P3 million.

Based on investigation of CCFO, the fire allegedly started from the house of a certain Juanito Caballes.

But Fire investigator FO3 Fulbert Navarro said in an interview with SunStar Cebu that the Caballes family could not exactly say where the fire started.

"Wala pa tay klaro nga tubag kay ongoing pa atong investigation. Padayon pa nato gi-verify ang information nga sa balay sa mga Caballes gasugod. Medyo lisod kay uncooperative ug gatinukmuray na man sila ug pasangil ngadto asa jud gasugod," Navarro said.

(We don't have a clear answer yet because our investigation is still ongoing. We are still verifying the information that it (fire) started from the house of the Caballeses. It's a bit difficult because they are uncooperative and they are making excuses since nobody would want to say about the origin of the fire.)

Navarro said they will go back to the fire scene Saturday morning, January 21, to confirm where the fire actually started.

He added they will also look for a witness who is willing to testify so they can properly start their investigation.

Meanwhile, the fire victims are temporarily housed at the Guadalupe Elementary School.

They are occupying the six vacant rooms of the school.

Guadalupe barangay councilor Apple Rose Enriquez said the personnel of City Social Welfare and Services had already distributed food that will last until Monday, January 23, to the affected families.

Enriquez said fire victims also need clothes. (BBT/TPT)